292161 Tower Scanning Now a Quantitative Tool, Part A

Tuesday, April 30, 2013: 1:35 PM
Lone Star C (Grand Hyatt San Antonio)
Lowell Pless, Tracerco, Pasadena, TX and Izak Nieuwoudt, Koch-Glitsch, Wichita, KS

Tower gamma scanning and neutron backscatter techniques are well established in the process industries as qualitative tools to help troubleshoot separation towers, both trayed and packed towers. In this presentation it will be shown that through careful and innovative application of gamma scanning and neutron backscatter techniques, quantitative information about separation towers can be extracted.

Part A:  For trayed towers this will be illustrated by comparing data taken under very controlled conditions on a hydrocarbon pilot plant tower equipped with windows, with the data obtained from scans of the tray downcomer and active area. Three sets of trays, designed to flood under jet flood, downcomer backup or choke flood mechanisms, were tested and studied. The experimental observations, tray model predictions, and scan data for each of these sets of trays will be compared.  Based on this information it can be concluded that tower scanning can be used to generate quantitative information about tray performance.

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